Breaking the law while driving is something that should always be avoided, though it’s not uncommon for people to be caught for speeding, drink driving and other similar offences. If drivers aren’t fully paying attention while out on the roads it can be easy to fall foul of the law – even just a couple of miles per hour over the speeding limit can see you slapped with a fine and points on your licence.
But which driving offences are the most common in Britain and see fines and points being handed out more often than others? We made a Freedom of Information request to the DVLA to find out just that.
Which Driving Offences Are We Committing The Most?
When analysing the number of drivers that have offence endorsements with penalty points on their licence, the SP30 code for exceeding the statutory speed limit on a public road stood out as the most common driving offence by far. With 3,028,699 drivers in Britain holding offences for speeding on public roads on their licence, more than two thirds (67%) of drivers that have committed offences on the road, have done so through speeding. Across Britain speeding offences carry an average of 3-6 penalty points per offence, with these remaining on drivers’ records for 4 years at a time. Additionally, the SP50 offence for exceeding the speed limit on a motorway is the second most common offence, with a further 627,796 drivers having been caught for doing this.
After speeding offences, the IN10 endorsement for using a vehicle uninsured against third-party risks is the third most common, with 288,424 drivers guilty of this. Third-party car insurance is the minimum level of cover required to drive on British roads – it offers the most basic protection and covers you for any injuries or damage that you may cause to another person, their vehicle, or their property from a car accident. However, this third-party cover doesn’t cover you or your own vehicle, which you would have to pay for yourself.
The 10 Most Common Driving Offences in Britain
|Rank||Endorsement||Offence||Number of drivers|
|1||SP30||Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road||3,028,699|
|2||SP50||Exceeding speed limit on a motorway||627,796|
|3||IN10||Using a vehicle uninsured against third party risks||288,424|
|4||MS90||Failure to give information as to identity of driver etc||155,869|
|5||SP10||Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits||86,385|
|6||CU80||Breach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, such as using a mobile phone||80,053|
|7||TS10||Failing to comply with traffic light signals||78,769|
|8||CD10||Driving without due care and attention||41,168|
|9||LC20||Driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence||38,027|
|10||CU30||Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s)||30,245|
Looking at the rest of the top 10 offences on our roads, speeding offences are the most common, with three offences in the top 10 of this type. CU80, the code for the offence of using a phone while driving features in sixth place, with 80,053 drivers caught for using a device behind the wheel – with tighter rules coming into place around mobile phone usage in March 2022, many drivers may have been caught out. However, the risks of using a mobile phone really aren’t worth it, so it’s always best to leave your phone out of reach, or secured using an appropriate phone holder for hands-free use only, while driving.
Using a vehicle with defective tyre(s) rounds off the most common offences, with 30,245 drivers guilty of this. It’s quick and easy to check your tyre health before setting off on a journey, so there’s no excuse for falling foul of these laws. Looking at tread depth and checking tyre walls for any cuts or bulges takes only seconds and will definitely help you to avoid any accidents that could be caused by a lack of grip or your tyres failing mid-drive.
Where are Points Being Given Out The Most?
Looking at the main regions of Great Britain, it’s drivers in the South East who are breaking the law and being hit with penalty points the most, with 392,673 drivers in the area having endorsements on their licence. London follows in second, and drivers from the North West in third.
When it comes to Scottish drivers, those in West Scotland are the most unlawful, with 78,310 drivers having been caught for one or more offences. In Wales, it’s drivers in the South East that are picking up the most points, with 77,361 drivers having been caught, though those in the South West are not far behind, with 77,361 offending drivers in the region.
The Regions That Break Road Laws The Most
|Rank||Region||Number of drivers|
|1||South East England||392,673|
|3||North West England||320,292|
|4||Yorkshire and the Humber||284,793|
|6||South West England||275,474|
|9||North East England||109,469|
|11||South East Wales||77,361|
|12||South West Wales||34,183|
|13||South East Scotland||32,114|
It’s crucial for any driver, new or more experienced, to be aware of the rules of the road and to abide by them – laws are there for a reason! Though it may seem trivial, even a few miles per hour extra or seconds without your eyes on the road can have a catastrophic impact, putting not only you but others at risk of serious harm, and your car good for only a scrap heap.
For more information on these driving offences and how to avoid them, read our in-depth article on each, and what they mean for you as a driver.